A guest post by Matt Curtis, Communications Manager from High Desert Church. Hear why Matt led his church to move from a house of brands to a branded house.

Recently our founder, Evan, traveled to California for the North American Christian Convention. No matter where he travels, he always loves to make connections. One of the people he connected with after NACC was Matt Curtis, Communications Manager at High Desert Church. They chatted all things church, communications and Kingdom impact. Matt shared their story about a recent transition from a 'house of brands' to a 'branded house.' 

Guest Author: Matt Curtis
Communications Manager, High Desert Church

Like many churches making the move to multisite, we’ve found that adding a campus doesn’t just add complexity – it multiplies it. When we made the move from three campuses to four, a tremendous amount of complexity was added to our communications team just in trying to keep track of what logos applied to which ministries on which campuses.

As soon as our logos needed campus-specific versions, I knew we weren’t going to be able to sustain this approach. Rather than figuring out the next step in the development process, I decided to start from the beginning. If I were starting from scratch, how would I brand a multisite church with four campuses? 

This is where Fishhook's blog post about a 'house of brands' versus a 'branded house' was so helpful. As a communicator, your experience has developed pretty reliable instincts on how to communicate. But as a part of an organization, that is rarely enough. You need to cast a vision to your team and to your leadership to help others see the value. Fishhook's blog post gave me the starting point I needed to develop five motivations for our brand philosophy change (more on that later).

Below you'll see some visuals that show our shift from a 'house of brands' to a 'branded house.' In order to show the difference between the two approaches, I put together what you may encounter visually when you visit one of our campuses. As you can see, the shift is very signficant, especially for someone who visits our campus.

 A 'house of brands' approach

HDC_house_of_brands.png

 
A 'branded house' approach
HDC_branded_house.png 

So, why change our branding philosophy?

1) Clarity
As we reach out to our local community, clarity is paramount. People who have never been to High Desert Church need to understand what we are saying without us explaining it. 
 
2) Consistency
Consistent branding helps people understand what we are saying and reinforces that we are one church with multiple ministry sites. If someone attends a different campus, a consistent brand helps maintain a High Desert Church experience through the way we communicate.
 
3) Scalability
This new branding philosophy can be implemented quickly, which will allow us to move at the speed of ministry. As God initiates, we can respond.
 
4) Flexibility
Our organization needs a nimble branding approach that allows us to experiment quickly. Logo conversations surrounding every new event or ministry approach only distract us from ministry development and evaluation. As each campus begins developing and investing in a local focus, this approach positions us to help support them better. 
 
5) Unity
As an organization, every ministry win is a win for High Desert Church. This branding philosophy removes all visuals that do not point to the global High Desert Church brand in an effort to affirm this.